Hospital Finance, Quality Team Up for Better Profit Margins
While Ahearn is aware of the financial paradox that currently exists for hospitals that substantially reduce their readmissions rates while still operating in a largely fee-for-service world, he says it is what Barnabas is pushing for because it is the right thing to do for its patients.
"I tell people to do the right thing for the patient all of the time. It is up to the finance people to figure out how to stay ahead of the curve and keep the place financially viable. But as a hospital, you have to move in the right direction with patient care. You have to do the right thing even if no one is paying you for it."
For her part, Larkin believes that as healthcare reform brings previously uninsured patients into the market, it will become even more important for quality and finance to work together with a focus on patient-centric quality metrics and improved value throughout the care continuum.
"Regardless of what final form healthcare takes, the imperative will be to deliver high-quality, low-cost healthcare," she says. "The expansion of finance, quality, and care providers as a team will support these efforts and keep quality, safety, experience, and cost as the driving forces."
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